22 February 2005


The Catholic Justice and Peace Commission in the Archdiocese of Brisbane has issued an information booklet of energy saving tips for households to mark the coming into force of the Kyoto protocol. The Commission decided to focus on practical and positive steps that individuals can make to reduce global warming rather than to criticise the Australian Government for its failure to support the protocol.

At a time when scientists around the world are expressing an ever growing concern about the problem of global warming, many would see the measures outlined in the Kyoto protocol as being too little and too late to avert a future disaster for our planet. Others have welcomed the implementation of the Kyoto agreement as a small but significant first step in addressing the problem. The agreement aims at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 5.2% of 1990 levels by 2012. Australia and the USA are the only industrialized western nations that have refused to ratify the protocol.

Calls for Australia to sign the Kyoto protocol and support endeavours to address global warming have recently been made by the chairman and the Executive Director of Catholic Earthcare Australia a body sponsored by the Australian Bishop’s Committee for Justice Ecology and Peace.

"The Kyoto Protocol asks that developed countries pledge to lower their greenhouse gas emissions by just on 6% by 2012, but the best science available tells us that what is needed is more like a 60% reduction. Therefore for the sake of our children and God's Earth, Australia should stand alongside the large number of countries who have signed and ratified the agreement, which would, in any case, be just a first step," said Bishop Christopher Toohey the Chairman of Earthcare.

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